Acoustic study of dynamical molecular-spin state without magnetic phase transition in spin-frustrated ZnFe2 O4

Tadataka Watanabe, Shota Takita, Keisuke Tomiyasu, Kazuya Kamazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ultrasound velocity measurements were performed on a single crystal of spin-frustrated ferrite spinel ZnFe2O4 from 300 K down to 2 K. In this cubic crystal, all the symmetrically independent elastic moduli exhibit softening with a characteristic minimum with decreasing temperature below ∼100 K. This elastic anomaly suggests a coupling between dynamical lattice deformations and molecular-spin excitations. In contrast, the elastic anomalies, normally driven by the magnetostructural phase transition and its precursor, are absent in ZnFe2O4, suggesting that the spin-lattice coupling cannot play a role in relieving frustration within this compound. The present study infers that, for ZnFe2O4, the dynamical molecular-spin state evolves at low temperatures without undergoing precursor spin-lattice fluctuations and spin-lattice ordering. It is expected that ZnFe2O4 provides the unique dynamical spin-lattice liquidlike system, where not only the spin molecules but also the cubic lattice fluctuate spatially and temporally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174420
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume92
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 24

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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